Apr 10, 201210:27 AM
Lifestyles, Galas and Gaiety from St. Charles Avenue Magazine's Morgan Packard
Who's the Prettiest of Them All?
One of my favorite days of the year in New Orleans, and one that may be the hardest to explain to non-locals, is Super Sunday.
I’ve been lucky to have made acquaintances with a couple of Mardi Gras Indians and I’ve researched their history and jargon so as not to embarrass myself or the Indians (or set a bad example for those around me).
If an Indian makes eye contact with me and poses, that means that he or she is allowing me to take a photo and I thank them for it; contrarily, if he or she breaks eye contact, makes a bad face or turns his or her back, I put away my camera and thank them as well. I don’t get in the way when they need to walk more quickly. I try to stay aware of where the Spy Boy, Flag Boy and Witch Doctor are all at times. (I mean, you wouldn’t step in front of a Mardi Gras float in motion or walk into a movie shoot to ask for a photo with a celebrity, would you?) And, I make certain to tell the prettiest just how pretty they are.
I was also lucky enough to see a very young tribe interact with an older, more established tribe. It took my breath away and made me tear up and laugh, all at the same time. I am so very happy that New Orleans’ unique traditions are thriving.
This year a good friend of my husband’s and mine (next blog will be on the wedding, I promise) brought his wife and three young daughters to Super Sunday with us. The middle daughter, who’s 5, asked me why we were there. I replied that each of the people walking by had most probably spent at least a year hand-creating the beautiful suits they were wearing, and our job was to tell them how pretty they are. “Now that I can do!” she said.
Next year I promise to get names and tribes for these photos, but in the meantime if you recognize any of these 40-odd Mardi Gras Indians, please let me know their name and/or tribe in the comments. Also, feel free to discuss amongst yourselves who you think is prettiest – I can never choose.